Touchstone Learning Sessions


The Sessions

Touchstone Learning Sessions cover three different aspects of learning support:

1. Self Regulation Support,

2. Content Tutoring

3. Academic Coaching Explorations

In our time together we can focus on any or all of these aspects.  Our work together is directed by the young person, based in agreement and consent.  In every aspect, we will focus on strategies of self care, reflection, and celebration.


Self Regulation Support

Regulating one’s self as a learner includes identifying habits and responses that get in the way, as well as noticing successes and places of change and possibility.  Together, we can explore intentions, map out tasks and approaches, and have regular check-ins about how these are going. Many people find these opportunities to reflect and systems of accountability incredibly helpful in building a satisfying relationship to their work.


Content Tutoring

We are unschoolers who know that sometimes there are good reasons to do courses for credit, or get support with academic skills.  We support students to engage with the content in a way that is useful and meaningful for them; from efficient completion to meandering explorations. We am skilled at assisting people to trust themselves and to trust me in their academic pursuits, and to find deeper pleasure in the journey.


Academic Coaching

It can be very useful for a young person to have an adult who is not invested in particular outcomes, with which to reflect and explore possibilities.  We listen to what the people we work with tell me and am comfortable asking useful and challenging questions to uncover the deeper wants of the student. To aid in exploration, we use strategies from academic coaching along with other exercises, that we adjust to fit individual needs.  


My Approach

Learning is a personal journey.  Our job is to be useful to you in your own learning.  We work with you where you are, and we figure out together what feels useful to you.  We do not have an expectation that you be at a certain place, or know certain content at a particular age or stage. We do not prioritize good grades or academic success, unless this is a goal you have set for yourself.   What we want for you, is for you to achieve the outcomes that are most desirable to you, and know yourself better, as a learner, along the way.


A Note on Big Feelings and Hard Work.

Many of the people we work with are people who live with significant anxieties around schooling and/or learning.  Often, somewhere along the way, we have learned that we can’t do something, or that the content is too hard, or we are unable.  It is satisfying to work to unlearn these old habits and rediscover our spark and curiosity. This is fun and hard work. We will work together to make big feelings and hard work mentionable and manageable.

Content Sam can assist with (see Paul's page):

  • Regulating one’s own work and projects.

  • Study habits

  • Managing feelings of overwhelm with school work and/or personal projects

  • Emerging numeracy and literacy skills for both young and older people.

  • Reading comprehension and writing from emergent through university levels

  • Math curriculum: from early years up to grade 9/10 level

  • Strengthening relationship to academics

  • Essay & Reflection Writing

  • University application essays

  • Research skills

People who may be interested in setting up Touchstone  Learning Sessions:

  • A home learner who is working to change habits towards their projects and/or academic learning

  • An unschooler, who is looking for additional adult support in their learning

  • A person new to university life who wants support managing their work.

  • A student who feels overwhelmed by managing school and course work

  • A person who feels anxiety with numeracy and literacy the encounter in the world and who would like to build confidence and skill.

  • An older unschooler, who wants academic skill building without actually having to go through school.

  • Someone who wants to better understand the content the are working with in their schooling, and would like a respectful and useful support person.



* We tend to work with people ages 6 through 24, who themselves desire to work with us.

* Sessions are typically scheduled and invoiced for 90 minutes of time and are billed for $80/ session.

* We are happy to work with siblings together or seperately within the same time slot.  $100/session

* Additional fees may be charged for additional prep such as curriculum development or research.

 Regulating our relationship to our work in way that nourishes us, is one of the most important things we can learn.  Touchstone sessions are designed for young people who wish to develop habits and awareness in their work that align with how they want to show up in the world.  

 We focus on developing a deeper understanding of what excites, motivates, and works for them, as well as what gets in their way. We support young people to develop self knowledge and self acceptance of their motivations and challenges. 

"My daughter is very shy and experiences a lot of anxiety, social and otherwise. Sam has an approach that my daughter describes as very gentle, flexible and open, and that I feel is really respectful and honouring of who my daughter is.  She offers a range of approaches in a very collaborative and responsive way, that has built trust and a growing sense of competence in my daughter. She has a quiet and thoughtful enthusiasm that feels very supportive and positive without being overwhelming.

I can’t recommend her enough!"

- Parent of client, 2016-18

"Sam really knows how to connect with and create a safe space to encourage learning. My daughter started working with Sam a few months back and she has been opened up to the brilliance that was hidden inside herself... that we were unable to access on our own. My daughter was under the impression that she couldn't write about a certain topic and Sam was able to show her how -- in a very short period of time. I highly recommend Sam."  

-Parent of client, 2017

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